FCC News Brief - October 7, 2019

Read Lease cancelled on sugar land slated for Everglades reservoir - “A lease on sugar farms at the center of dispute that pitted Gov. Ron DeSantis against South Florida water managers was cancelled Thursday. DeSantis announced he’d terminated the lease with Florida Crystals on land slated for a 17,000-acre reservoir - a critical piece of Everglades restoration needed to provide water to southern marshes. The sugar farmers voluntarily cancelled the lease on Monday, he said. In an April letter, Florida Crystals had promised as much, saying that if the project sped up, they would surrender the land. With the lease out of the way, construction on stormwater treatment areas needed to clean water in the reservoir can be expedited, said Steve Davis, an ecologist with the Everglades Foundation...The Foundation pushed Florida lawmakers to take charge of the project and pressure the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to move it up the lengthy list of restoration projects after damaging lake flushes regularly fouled rivers with blue green algae.  But in November of 2018, the district’s former governing board infuriated the new governor when it extended Florida Crystals' lease despite DeSantis' request that they delay a vote. Board members said legislation creating the reservoir left them no choice because lawmakers insisted the land be farmed until contracts were signed to construct the reservoir. Critics complained it was a last-minute move by the board appointed by former Gov. Rich Scott, now a state senator, to undermine DeSantis...The treatment areas play a critical piece because lake water contains high levels of phosphorus and nitrogen that could fuel cattail growth and choke marshes. Some scientists have warned that the stormwater treatment areas are too small to clean water from the deepwater reservoir. And in a lengthy critic, Corps officials warned that the 23-foot deep would likely fail to meet water quality of dam safety standards. But district officials have said the treatment areas could be managed to meet strict water standards. In June and August, the district applied for initial permits to build the stormwater treatment areas. Under the state-federal partnership for restoration, the state handles cleaning up water while the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers builds storage projects…” Jenny Staletovich reports for WLRN.

Read Wellington activists align forces to save mall wetland - “Logan Lindsey-Hartwig loves birds. He likes all of the animals that call the wetlands near his Wellington neighborhood home. He especially likes Bouser Junior, a turtle he keeps as a pet that he found flipped on its back in the street. At 9 years old, Logan knows more about wetlands than some adults. He will passionately explain that all kinds of birds and mammals rely on wetland habitat for survival, and that wetlands also help prevent flooding. It is knowledge he plans to share at Monday’s village council hearing on development plans that would pave the way, quite literally, for destruction of wetlands in Wellington in favor of commercial and residential development. Monday’s hearing will be dedicated in full to public comment on developer Brefrank Inc.’s January 2019 application to bulldoze part of the wetland preserve at the Mall on Wellington Green at Forest Hill Boulevard about a half-mile west of State Road 7. The plan is to develop a restaurant and a marshy lake. The company also wants to split a conservation easement west of the mall and use a portion for a 187-unit extension of the Axis apartment complex...But there are critical differences between redeveloping existing commercial property and bulldozing functioning wetlands for new development, activists say.The lots in debate have been protected since Brefrank granted a conservation easement in 1999 to the South Florida Water Management District. It was enacted to “ensure that the conservation parcel remains in its natural, vegetative, hydrologic, scenic, open, agricultural or wooded condition and to retain such areas as suitable habitat for fish, plants and wildlife, as required by the permit.” But it also contained a clause that allowed it to be changed upon written agreement between both parties — something Brefrank is now attempting in favor of apartments and a 10,000-square-foot restaurant. “You have plenty of empty places and buildings for somebody to come in and set up a restaurant,” said Diane Rice, a 30-year resident of Wellington and the environmental chairman for the Wellington Garden Club. “They usually go out of business in two years anyway.”...Even if the village council approves Brefrank’s application, the South Florida Water Management District must sign off…” Wendy Rhodes reports for the Palm Beach Post.

Read Algae task force considers recommendations - “The Department of Environmental Protection Blue Green Algae Task Force worked on recommendations on Basin Management Action Plans (BMAPs), Best Management Practices (BMPs), septic systems, sewage spills and storm water storage and treatment at their Sept. 25 meeting at Florida Gulf Coast University. The task force noted the BMAPs have been hindered by local funding constraints, which have delayed restoration efforts. The task force recommends focusing on projects likely to yield maximum pollutant reductions, as well as sampling and monitoring programs to ensure the projects are working as intended. The task force recommended action to increase BMP enrollment in all areas. They also recommended more attention be given to record keeping and site visits to ensure the BMPs are being implemented properly. “BMPs are important, but of themselves are not going to get us where we need to go,” said Dr. Thomas Frazer, Florida’s chief science officer. “We need to do more,” said Dr. Valerie Paul, director of the Smithsonian Marine Station in Fort Pierce. She said she does not want to point the finger at any particular sector. The nutrient load problem is “anything and everything,” she said... In recent years increases in rainfall have brought more runoff, said Dr. James Sullivan of Florida Atlantic University. He said more developments also mean more runoff. Dr. Wendy Graham of the University of Florida said payment for ecosystem services could be part of a BMAP. For example if there are more extreme rainfall events which bring the potential for more nutrient loading, volunteers could be asked to store more water. Dr. Graham also encouraged supporting funding for conservation. “One thing we don’t want is to have all of the agricultural lands converted to strip malls and subdivisions,” said Dr. Graham. There is inherit value in keeping some agricultural lands functioning without development, said Dr. Frazer. Agricultural lands provide lots of value in benefits to wildlife, fisheries and food security, he said…” Katrina Elsken reports for the Immokalee Bulletin.

Read Florida’s foam, plastic bans may head to Supreme Court amid Coral Gables lawsuit - “When Natalie Manfredi disposes of drinks in the kitchen at Pappa Louie’s Italian Restaurant, nearly all the straws have jagged edges. Diners can’t resist biting them off. The starchy, yellow sippers — about a foot long and a centimeter in diameter — are made of pasta. "The oceans are bad here," lamented Manfredi, who grew up on the Treasure Coast and co-owns the Port St. Lucie restaurant with her sister, Michelle. "If we can help in any way, that’s what we’ve been trying to do…” It’s a choice the Manfredis made on their own. Port St. Lucie and St. Lucie County aren't among the American governments that have banned plastic and polystyrene products, including bags, cups, lids, straws, utensils and takeout containers...By virtue of an August appeals court ruling, the handful of Florida cities that have plastic and/or polystyrene bans face legal pressure to repeal them.  Hollywood imposed Florida's first ban on plastics and polystyrene in 1996. By 2015, similar bans had spread to Bal Harbour Village, Bay Harbor Islands, Key Biscayne, Miami Beach, North Bay Village and Surfside. But it was Coral Gables' 2016 ban on expanded polystyrene (EPS) — commonly but inaccurately called "Styrofoam" — that drew the first legal challenge. A 2017 ruling in favor of Coral Gables was overturned this year. The Florida Retail Federation is the bully. That’s how James Miller, senior director of external affairs, said local governments portray his litigious trade association…” Lindsey Leake reports for the Treasure Coast Newspapers.

Read Baby sea turtle found dead in South Florida had 104 pieces of plastic in its body - “Dozens of tiny pieces of plastic dot the counter top next to the dead baby sea turtle. The 104 remnants, which range from a wrapper to a twist tie used in trash bags, were found inside a baby sea turtle that washed ashore in South Florida..."Yes, all of this plastic came from one tiny turtle,'' the [Gumbo LImbo Nature Center] responded to a commenter. “The plastic plugs them up and causes them to go into septic shock. We perform necropsies on all turtles that die in our care which is how we determine cause of death. Plastic pollution is the sad world we live in now. We must do better.” The plight of South Florida’s sea turtles is also the focus of a new WLRN documentary, "Troubled Waters: A Turtle’s Tale” which explores how humans and climate change are affecting the tiny sea creatures in the region. The one-hour film highlights the work of the Gumbo Limbo Nature Center where conservationists rescue and rehabilitate injured sea turtles that are found tangled in trash, poisoned by toxic waters and struck by boats. Conservationists featured in the documentary say that almost 100 percent of baby sea turtles are found with bellies filled with plastics. That can lead to birth defects and premature death…” Johnny Diaz reports for the South Florida Sun Sentinel

Read Why I loved and hated seeing Florida from above - “... As we quickly gained altitude, the trees below multiplied into forests, houses sprouted into neighborhoods and the roads became snaking masses cutting through the land. Butch and Traci were rattling out names of rivers and forests one after the other as I snapped away, trying to keep up: the Wekiva River, St. Johns River, Lake Monroe. Once we reached cruising altitude at 1,200 feet, Charlie slowed and steadied the plane, and the beauty of Florida’s wilderness came into focus. The forest was split in two by the Wekiva River as it glimmered in the late morning light. Vast prairies opened up into lakes and streams, and tiny white dots came and went as airboats weaved throughout the wetlands. Seeing Florida like this truly shocked me and affirmed everything I had heard about how lush and biodiverse this state is...  My job on this flight wasn’t merely to photograph the amazing beauty of Florida, but also to tell the story of how that same land is under threat from overdevelopment. This is a fact that became evermore obvious as the beautiful rivers and prairies became speckled with houses and dissected by highways. Bridges of various sizes straddled rivers, roads cut through previously remote forests, and housing developments consumed patches of green, slowly choking them until there were none left. I saw trees being leveled and burned to make room for new development, while other housing developments only miles away sat barren with only a few houses having ever been built in the entire neighborhood. It was much worse than I thought...As a lifelong Floridian, I was familiar with the high amount of development in our state, but I was wholly unaware of the scale... All of this information points to the fact that it is imperative that we are thoughtful and think critically about the future of Florida. We cannot continue to grow at this rate with this little foresight and expect to maintain the wild spaces that drew so many here in the first place. Developers with little-to-no accountability for the land they build on are controlling the future of Florida and shifting the landscape in ways that cause permanent damage. We must protect and conserve Florida’s wild spaces while also adapting our already developed land into places of smart and responsible growth…” Tanner DiBerardino writes for Conservation Florida.

Read Red tide is back in southwest Florida - “For 14 months, a Red Tide toxic algae bloom plagued Florida, killing thousands of fish and other marine creatures, chasing away tourists and harming the economy of coastal towns. Finally it faded away in February. Now Red Tide is back along the state’s southwestern coast, according to scientists at St. Petersburg’s Florida Fish and Wildlife Research Instituate. The biologists at the state’s marine science laboratory reported Friday that the samples they took from the waters of Collier County found “background to high concentrations” of the algae, and there were multiple reports of fish kills. The last big Red Tide bloom started the same way in November 2017, and at its peak last fall it was touching all three of the state’s coasts -- the Panhandle, the southern gulf coast and the Atlantic coast… During a bloom the algae multiply rapidly and spread across the water’s surface, staining it a rusty color that gives the phenomenon its name. Then winds and currents carry it toward shore, where it can be fed and prolonged by pollution from fertilizer, sewage spills and leaky septic tanks. The 14-month Red Tide bloom was the longest lasting Red Tide this decade. The longest on record lasted for 17 months from 2004 to 2006…” Craig Pittman reports for the Tampa Bay Times.

Read Tracking the Atlantic Ocean’s inland creep in Miami-Dade County - “It’s a gentle intruder, moving stealthily underground, out of sight but not undetected. Salt water continues to move farther inland in Florida’s Miami-Dade County, albeit at a slower rate, according to new U.S. Geological Survey mapping. Researchers and water managers in southern Florida keep a wary eye on the ocean’s landward thrust because of the region’s precarious freshwater balance. All of Miami-Dade County’s municipal water, which serves several million residents and visitors, comes from groundwater, primarily from a thin lens of fresh water called the Biscayne Aquifer. Rising seas are a visible threat to coastal areas. But the danger above is mirrored below in the form of rising salt concentrations in many coastal aquifers...Salt water can be pushed inland because of rising seas or infiltration from the region’s drainage canals. It can also be pulled by groundwater pumping that lowers the level of fresh water in the aquifer. Rainfall plays a role, as do the geological properties of the aquifer, such as how freely water flows through pores in the sand and limestone layers. “The balance of these factors varies throughout the county,” Scott Prinos, the USGS hydrologist who did the mapping, told Circle of Blue. The aquifer, for instance, is 275 feet thick in the county’s northern reaches, but only 80 feet in the southeast. Miami-Dade Water and Sewer Department, which supplies 2.3 million people, is keenly aware of the threat, and it works with federal researchers to assess the risk. Salts in the aquifer are not welcome. They can spoil the supply or result in expensive treatment. For now, though, saltwater intrusion “is not a concern,” according to Jennifer Messemer-Skold, a spokesperson…” Brett Walton writes for Circle of Blue.

From Our Readers

The information in this section is forwarded to you at the request of some of our readers. Inclusion in this section does not necessarily constitute endorsement by the FCC.

Job Openings:

Conservation Stewardship Coordinator - Tall Timbers

Associate Director - Center for Earth Jurisprudence

Botanist - The Florida Natural Areas Inventory (FNAI)/Florida State University

Associate Director - Blair Audubon Visitor Center

Organizing Representative, Red Tide & Wildlands Campaign - Gainesville - Sierra Club

Organizing Representative, Red Tide & Wildlands Campaign - Ft. Myers/Naples - Sierra Club

Upcoming Environmental Events:

For a separate list of upcoming legislative delegation meetings, visit our website here.

October 7th – 5:30pm-7:00pm – Escambia County Legislative Delegation meeting – (Pensacola) - Members of Escambia County’s State Legislative Delegation will hold a public hearing at the Pensacola State College Jean and Paul Amos Performance Studio, 1000 College Boulevard Pensacola, FL. 32504. Delegation members will consider local bills, hear presentations from government entities, and take public testimony on proposals for the 2020 Regular Session of the Florida Legislature. Any member of the public is welcome to attend. To request an appearance form to be placed on the meeting agenda, individuals should contact Senator Doug Broxson’s office at (850) 595-1036 or email: brown.kevin@flsenate.gov no later than 5 p.m., Wednesday, October 2, 2019.

October 7th – 1:00-6:00pm – Polk County Legislative Delegation meeting – (Winter Haven) – Attend the Polk County Delegation meeting at Polk state College – Center for Publc Safety, 1251 Jim Keene Blvd., Winter Haven, FL 33880. To be placed on the agenda please contact Senator Stargel’s office by sending a request to davis.chad@flsenate.gov before noon on September 30. For additional Information, please contact Chad Davis by email (davis.chad@flsenate.gov) or at 863-668-3028.

October 7th – 1:30pm – Gilchrist County Legislative Delegation meeting – (Trenton) – Attend the Gilchrist County Delegation meeting at the Gilchrist County Commission Meeting Facility, 201 S Main St., Trenton, FL. To be placed on the agenda, please contact Robin Steele at robin.steele@myfloridahouse.gov or (352) 313-6542 in Representative Clemons’ office by October 2. For additional information, contact Ellen Boukari, Legislative Assistant to Representative Chuck Clemons at ellen.boukari@myfloridahouse.gov or (352) 313- 6542.

October 7th - 8:00am - FDEP Blue-Green Algae Task Force - (Gainesville) - – The Florida Department of Environmental Protection is hosting the sixth meeting of the Blue-Green Algae Task Force.The key focus of the Task Force is to support funding and restoration initiatives, such as prioritizing solutions and making recommendations to expedite nutrient reductions in Lake Okeechobee and the downstream estuaries. This meeting will consist of public comment and final action on the first Task Force Consensus Document. The agenda is available on the Task Force website. The final draft of the Consensus Document will be made available on the website later this week. Where: University of Florida, Martin Levin Advocacy Center, Room 106, 309 Village Drive, Gainesville, FL 32611.

October 8th – 8:00am-11:00am – Charlotte County Legislative Delegation meeting – (Punta Gorda) – Attend the Charlotte County Legislative Delegation meeting at the Punta Gorda Isles Civic Association, 2001 Shreve Street, Punta Gorda, FL 33950. To be placed on the agenda, email Cynthia.beckett@myfloridahouse.gov before 4:00pm on October 1st, 2019. For more information, see meeting notice here.

October 8th – 9:30am – Broward County Legislative Delegation meeting (Miramar) – Attend the Broward County Delegation meeting at the City of Miramar Commission Chambers, 23000 Civic Center Place, Miramar, FL 33025. Members of the public and representatives of organizations are entitled to address the Delegation at the public hearing appropriate to their subject matter. Click on the Speaker's Form to sign up to speak. The completed form will automatically be forwarded to the Delegation office. Please have this form to the Delegation Office at least two (2) business days prior to the hearing. In addition, you may sign up at the hearing. Speakers will have 2 minutes to present information to the Delegation. If providing handouts to the members please bring 20 copies and give to the Delegation Assistant at the start of the meeting.

October 9th - 1:30pm - Lake County Legislative Delegation meeting - (Leesburg) -Attend the Lake County Delegation meeting at the Paul P. Williams Fine Arts Auditorium, Lake-Sumter State College, 9501 U.S. Highway 441, Leesburg, FL 34788. To participate in the delegation meeting, complete the public speaker request form here before September 18th. Email Rachel Barnes for additional information: BARNES.RACHEL@flsenate.gov.

October 9th - 4:00pm- Nassau County Legislative Delegation meeting - (Yulee) - Attend the Nassau County Delegation meeting at the Nassau County Commission Chambers, 96135 Nassau Place, Yulee, Florida 32097.

October 9th - 4:00pm – 5:30pm- Nassau County Legislative Delegation meeting - (Yulee) - Attend the Nassau County Delegation meeting at the Nassau County Commission Chambers, 96135 Nassau Place, Yulee, Florida 32097. Stay tuned for contact information and speaker request forms. Interested citizens wishing to be placed on the agenda for the October 9 public meeting are asked to contact Senator Bean’s Office at 904-757-5039, prior to close of business Friday, October 4. All materials or handouts for this meeting should be sent to Senator Bean’s Office no later than Friday, October 4. Information can be mailed to 13453 North Main St, Suite 301, Jacksonville, FL 32218 or emailed to Dee Alexander at alexander.dee@flsenate.gov.

October 10th - 6:30pm-8:30pm - Follow the Ichetucknee - (Lake City) - Mark your calendars now for an informal celebration of the Ichetucknee at Halpatter Brewing Company, 264 NE Hernando Avenue, Lake City, Florida 32055. Admission is free! You'll enjoy: Viewing new and newly scored videos about the Ichetucknee by collaborators Eric Flagg and Michael Amish; Meeting directors and members of the Ichetucknee Alliance; Socializing with people who love the Ichetucknee; Tasting craft beer and munching on pizza; Exploring our interconnections with the aquifer, the Ichetucknee, and each other; Finding out what you can do to help restore, protect and preserve the Ichetucknee. We are thrilled that the generous proprietors of Halpatter have offered their venue for this event. Please share this information with anyone you know who might be interested. There's also information about this event on our Facebook page here.

October 10th - 2:30pm - Clay County Legislative Delegation meeting - (Green Cove Springs) -Attend the Clay County Delegation meeting at the Clay County Commission Chambers, 477 Houston St. Green Cove Springs, FL 32043. To participate in the delegation meeting, complete the public speaker request form here before 3:00pm October 8th. Email Tammy Still for additional information: Tammy.Still@myfloridahouse.gov.

October 11th - 8:00am-11:00am - Pasco County Legislative Delegation meeting - (New Port Richey) - Attend the Pasco County Legislative Delegation meeting at the Performing Arts Center at Pasco-Hernando State College West Campus, 10230 Ridge Road, New Port Richey, FL 34654. This annual public meeting is an opportunity for citizens, elected officials, cities and local government, and other civic organizations to address the delegation before the start of the 2020 Legislative Session. If you would like to be placed on the printed agenda, please contact Representative Mariano’s Office at alexander.alt@myfloridahouse.gov or (727) 861-4806, by noon on Friday, October 4, 2019. You may also complete a Speaker’s Form on the day of the meeting and you will be afforded time to speak in the order in which it was received. Please submit or bring seven (7) copies of all handouts to the meeting for distribution.  If you would like more information regarding this meeting, please contact Alexander Alt by email (at the above listed email address) or call (727) 861-4806.

October 11th-13th - 2nd Annual Festival of Flight & Flowers - (Eustis, Lake County) - Returning again this year, the Festival of Flight and Flowers weekend will provide visitors and local residents access to professionals and experts that specialize in native plants, outdoor recreation, wildflowers, bird and butterfly watching, and much more around Lake County Florida.  This year we are lucky to have Birding by Bus join us as our Keynote Speakers and special trip leaders. The weekend comprises of a one day festival on Saturday, October 12, in downtown Eustis, Florida, surrounded by field trips, conservation walks, and bird watching throughout Lake County, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. We have biologists and nature experts leading the way on guided immersive field trips all over Lake County allowing you to experience Real Florida, as well as educational lectures and presentations all day on Saturday. For more information, visit the website here.

October 14th - 6:00pm (CDT)- Earth Ethics Environmental Education Series - (Pensacola) - Join Earth Ethics, Inc. at Ever’mans Educational Center located at 327 W Garden Street for a discussion on the (restoration of) The Rights of Nature. Find out what is happening locally, around the state and around the globe. Learn how you can get engaged and why it’s important, now more than ever, to do so. Stay up to date or learn more at https://www.facebook.com/events/2150083855285903/

October 15th - 2:00-4:00pm - Environmental Discussions Group of Manatee County - (Bradenton) - The Environmental Discussions Group of Manatee County will hold its next program at the Braden River Library meeting room, 4915 53rd Ave. E, Bradenton, FL 34203. We will host two speakers from Manatee County Parks and Natural Resources Department. They will visit to describe the habitat of gopher tortoises. Also, they will discuss the plans for conversion of overgrown land at Rye Preserve to a scrub and flatwoods habitat. That type of habitat is prime for the gopher tortoises and the wildlife their burrows support. Be sure to attend to see the exciting surprise display our speakers have planned. The meeting is open to all. Please send an r.s.v.p. to resourcewisdom@gmail.com.

October 22 - 10:00am - M-CORES Northern Turnpike Connector Task Force Meeting #2 - (Lecanto) - The Multi-Use Corridors of Regional Economic Significance (M-CORES) program was signed into law by Governor DeSantis in May 2019. Public participation is vital to the M-CORES process, and there are many ways to share your comments or ideas. All three task forces will hold public meetings in their respective corridors. The Task Force for the Northern Turnpike Connector (extending from the northern terminus of Florida’s Turnpike northwest to the Suncoast Parkway) will meet at the College of Central Florida Citrus Learning Center, 3800 S Lecanto Highway, Lecanto , FL 34461. Registration begins at 9:00am. FDOT staff will be available at each open house to answer questions and receive your comments. Additional information can be found on FDOT’s website here.

October 23 - 10:00am - M-CORES Suncoast Connector Task Force Meeting #2 - (Lecanto) - The Multi-Use Corridors of Regional Economic Significance (M-CORES) program was signed into law by Governor DeSantis in May 2019. Public participation is vital to the M-CORES process, and there are many ways to share your comments or ideas. All three task forces will hold public meetings in their respective corridors. The Task Force for the Suncoast Connector (extending from Citrus County to Jefferson County) will meet at the College of Central Florida Citrus Learning Center, 3800 S Lecanto Highway, Lecanto , FL 34461. Registration begins at 9:00am. FDOT staff will be available at each open house to answer questions and receive your comments. Additional information can be found on FDOT’s website here.

October 24 - 10:00am - M-CORES Southwest-Central Florida Connector Task Force Meeting #2 - (Lakeland) - The Multi-Use Corridors of Regional Economic Significance (M-CORES) program was signed into law by Governor DeSantis in May 2019. Public participation is vital to the M-CORES process, and there are many ways to share your comments or ideas. All three task forces will hold public meetings in their respective corridors. The Task Force for the Southwest-Central Florida Connector (extending from Collier County to Polk County) will meet at the Polk State College – Lakeland Campus, 3425 Winter Lake Road, Lakeland, FL 33803. Registration begins at 9:00am. FDOT staff will be available at each open house to answer questions and receive your comments. Additional information can be found on FDOT’s website here.

October 24th - Save Our Springs and Rivers Academy - (Deland) - The Green Volusia Program is hosting another Save Our Springs & Rivers Academy free adult education classes. This is a six-day class and will include classroom and field trip experiences, guest speakers and hands-on, feet-wet learning to provide an in-depth citizen engagement experience. The free adult education class will be held October 24, 25, 31, and November 1, 8, and 15th.  The October 25, 2019 class will participate in the Volusia Water Alliance's Water Symposium at the Wayne G. Sanborn Center in DeLand.  On November 15, 2019, the class will attend the Sh.O.R.E. Symposium (SHaring Our Research with Everyone - A Research Symposium for Students, Scientists and the Community) at the News-Journal Center in Daytona Beach, presented by Daytona State College's Institute of Marine and Environmental Studies, the Marine Discovery Center and the Atlantic Center for the Arts. Advance registration is required. Email Kelli at kmcgee@natuastrategies.com for more information.

October 25th - 26th - State of Our Water Fall Symposium - (Deland) - Join the Volusia Water Alliance for the annual Water Symposium consisting of short presentations on the problems we face and possible solutions by leaders and experts. As our population grows in Central Florida, we are causing serious problems to our natural ecosystem and the Floridan Aquifer under our feet from which we get our water. There are no easy solutions, but the best minds in the business are coming together to work on it. Join us. Learn about the problems. Be a part of the solutions. FREE to the public! (Registration required).

October 26th - 9:00am-4:00pm - Florida Solar Congress - (Tampa) -Join Solar United Neighbors for the 2019 Florida Solar Congress. Solar experts, activists, homeowners, and supporters from all over the state of Florida will be converging in Tampa this October. We’ll discuss the state of solar in Florida in 2019 and celebrate the progress our movement has made so far. Visit the website for more information, RSVP here. Location: Phyllis P. Marshall Student Center, 4103 Cedar Circle Tampa, FL 33620.

October 30th - 9:00AM - Collier County Legislative Delegation meeting - (Naples) -Attend the Collier County Delegation meeting at the North Collier Regional Park, 15000 Livinston Rd. Naples, FL 34109. The agenda will be released to the news media on Thursday, October 17, 2019, to allow the citizens of Collier County ample time to prepare comments if they so desire. If you would like to be placed on the agenda as a presenter of a local bill or local budget request, or to speak to another issue, please contact the office at (239) 417-6200 or Priscilla.Grannis@myfloridahouse.gov by Friday, October 11, 2019. For more information, review announcement here.

October 30th – 9:00am- Lee County Legislative Delegation meeting – (Fort Myers) – Attend the Lee County Legislative Delegation meeting at Florida Southwestern State College, Nursing Building (Room AA-177), 8099 College Pkwy, Fort Myers, FL 33919. The deadline to request placement on the meeting agenda for a general presentation before the Delegation is 5:00pm on Monday, October 21, 2019. All requests to be placed on the agenda must be submitted in writing to State Representative Dane Eagle, Chairman, Lee County Legislative Delegation, 1039 SE 9th Place, Suite 310, Cape Coral, FL 33990, or by email to dane.eagle@myfloridahouse.gov.

November 18 – 1:00pm-4:00pm – Hernando County Legislative Delegation meeting – (Brooksville) – Attend the Hernando County Legislative Delegation meeting at the Hernando County Government Center, 20 N Main Street, Courtroom A, 2nd Floor, Brooksville, FL 34601. Additional information will be forthcoming.

November 19th – 9:00am-12:30pm – Osceola County Legislative Delegation meeting – (Kissimmee) – Attend the Osceola County Legislative Delegation meeting  at the Osceola County Administration Building 1 Courthouse Square, 4th Floor, Commission Chambers Kissimmee, FL 34741. Members of the public wishing to address the delegation (limit of 3 minutes) must request a place on the agenda by submitting the Presentation Request Form.  Forms and materials may be submitted in person or via mail to: 231 Ruby Ave. Suite A, Kissimmee, FL 34741, fax: (407) 846-5011 or email to Beatriz.Marte@MyFloridaHouse.gov. The deadline for submissions is Friday, November 8, 2019.

Do you know of an upcoming environmental event or meeting you would like to include in the FCC News Brief? Send us a quick e-mail and we will include it for you.


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We hope you enjoy this service and find it valuable. Our goal is to provide you with the latest and most relevant environmental news for Floridians. Our hope is that you will use this information to more effectively and frequently contact your elected representatives, and add your voice to the growing chorus of Floridians concerned about the condition of our environment and the recent direction of environmental policies.

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About the FCC: The Florida Conservation Coalition (FCC) is composed of over 80 conservation-minded organizations and over two thousand individuals devoted to protecting and conserving Florida’s land, fish and wildlife, and water resources.  

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